Fairfax County E-Bird newsletter for June 29, 2021: DMV’s largest mural in Tysons, Vinson Hall, big Leidos-NASA deal

Boro backdrop: A new rendition of Washington, D.C.’s Sandlot concept is set to open at The Boro in Tysons on July 11. Sandlot Tysons will be an outdoor concept with pop-up cultural programming in partnership with The Boro’s retailers and restaurants. Founded by D.C. natives and entrepreneurs Ian Callender and Kevin Hallums, this will be the fourth Sandlot location in the region. Sandlot will be located behind The Loft at 1640 Boro Place. The grand opening will kick off with a free concert with Black Alley on Sunday, July 11 at 7 p.m. Check back for updates on the opening and the schedule of events by clicking here. Visitors got a preview of Sandlot Tysons at a mural unveiling at The Boro on Saturday, June 26. The immense mural — which is more than 4oo feet long and 70 feet tall, making it one of the largest pieces of public art in the D.C. area, according to The Boro — was created by artists Jessie and Katey and will serve as the Sandlot’s backdrop. McLean Patch has more.

Capital projects: Vinson Hall Retirement Community, located in McLean, upgraded its facilities with new outdoor recreational area and memory-care renovations. Tysons Reporter notes that this is one of several capital projects that Vinson Hall has undertaken during the pandemic and will be more affordable thanks to a Fairfax County Economic Development Authority Commission action that let the retirement community refinance bonds that had been previously issued to fund campus improvements. Vinson Hall CFO Rick Bova says the move will help improve the lives of residents and staff by supporting property upgrades and salary increases for staff.

NASA network: Reston-based Leidos won a $2.5 billion follow-on contract to provide information technology and communications network services to all facilities and centers run by NASA. The 10-year Advanced Enterprise Global Information Technology Solutions contract, slated to take effect Sept. 1, entails support to agency-wide cloud computing, data center and telecommunication assets. Leidos will help manage and secure the agency’s wide- and local-area networks, collaboration platforms, radios and other communications systems, GovConWire reported.

Crypto collectible: Entering one of the newest areas of the digital collectibles market, Tysons-based USA Today announced that it will auction off the first newspaper delivered to space in 1971 as a non-fungible token (NFT). A NFT is a unit of data stored on a digital ledger, called a blockchain, that certifies a digital asset to be unique and therefore not interchangeable. The auction of the NFT will benefit the Air Force Space & Missile Museum Foundation and The Gannett Foundation. Potomac Tech Wire picked up the USA Today release. And click here read the backstory on how a Florida newspaper ended up on the moon — and then become USA Today’s first NFT.

She’ll make a deal: She Has a Deal, a WeWork-supported company in Tysons, is helping women become hotel owners, technical.ly reported. Founded by real estate investor Tracy Prigmore, the company’s education platform features a multitude of master classes on hotel ownership, networking opportunities and investment how-to. To help women bring what they’ve learned full circle, the four-person company hosts an annual pitch competition to help women get the equity and investments they need to kickstart their hotel ownership plans. Applications opened for its third annual pitch competition on June 24.

Mission ready: AT&T announced the expansion of the Reston-based FirstNet‘s broadband communications platform that supports public safety personnel during emergency response efforts. The expansion provides law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical service personnel and other first responders access to over 100 FirstNet portable cell sites to deliver communications support during the 2021 hurricane and wildfire seasons. “We’ve expanded the FirstNet fleet to provide even more portable cell sites, as well as to introduce new types of assets to help public safety stay mission ready,” said Jason Porter, president of public sector and FirstNet at AT&T. GovConWire covered the expansion news.

Climate connection: Tysons-based Guidehouse, a global provider of consulting services to the public and commercial markets, entered into a strategic alliance with San Mateo, Calif.-based Jupiter Intelligence, a global leader in climate analytics, to help utilities understand and respond to climate risks and opportunities. The alliance combines Guidehouse’s utility industry expertise with Jupiter’s global-scale analytics platform to provide clients with a comprehensive and transparent climate change risk assessment as a key part of an advanced integrated planning strategy. Citybiz picked up a Guidehouse release.

Flight test: Falls Church area-based Northrop Grumman completed the first flight of Japan’s second RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned air vehicle (UAV). The latest milestone follows the completion of the maiden flight of Japan’s first RQ-4B Global Hawk UAV in April from Palmdale, Calif. Following its deployment with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, these UAVs will be combined with other Japanese intelligence platforms, as well as the ground-based command and control units. The UAV is designed to improve Japan’s intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities and monitor and deter regional threats, Air Force Technology reported.

Through the LookingGlass: Reston-based LookingGlass Cyber Solutions, a cybersecurity company focused on government clients, acquired Austin, Texas-based AlphaWave, a cybersecurity company that provides exposure visibility to its clients. “AlphaWave’s cloud-native foundation enables them to clearly understand the nuances of managing one’s attack surface across the cloud and containers,” said Gilman Louie, CEO of LookingGlass. “This expertise is only going to become more critical as the private sector and government continue to undergo digital transformations and move to cloud-first strategies,” Virginia Business has more.

Preview of coming attractions: Pulte Homes is looking to demolish an eight-story, 88-foot-tall concrete office building to make way for a three-building residential development in Tysons. The existing building at 1953 Gallows Road would be replaced with a multifamily residential building with 225 to 260 units. Approximately 2,628 square feet of space in the property’s northeastern corner will be set aside during the project’s first phase to accommodate a planned extension of Boone Boulevard in accordance with the county’s Tysons Comprehensive Plan, reported Tysons Reporter.

Fenix rises: Enlightenment Capital, a Chevy Chase, Md.-based investment firm focused on the government and defense industries in the Washington, D.C., region, made a strategic investment in Chantilly-based Fenix Group, a provider of technology to defense and intelligence agencies. Enlightenment said the investment will be used for growth initiatives and possible mergers and acquisitions activity. Founded in 2016, Fenix’s offerings include equipment for private broadband networks, handheld communication devices, sensors and other technologies. GovConWire enlightened readers with the news.

Free rides for vets: Reston-based Dulles Airport Transportation Association and its partner NV Rides, a network of volunteer driver programs housed at the nonprofit Pozez Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia in Fairfax, launched an outreach initiative last week to help transport veterans to and from medical appointments. With the initiative, the organizations hope to address one of the many issues that veterans face when seeking health care, exemplified by the cancellation of millions of medical appointments at Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The feedback we’ve received from local veteran service organizations has been nothing but positive,” Veterans Connect mobility manager Luke Frazza said, Reston Now reported. “Support for the project has transcended those who served however, and garnered praise from across our community.”

Board expansion: The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority soon will add two seats to its seven-member Commission (board of directors), which has remained the same size since the Virginia General Assembly in 1964 passed enabling legislation to create the Authority. State lawmakers and Gov. Ralph Northam approved a measure earlier this year allowing the change, which takes effect July 1. Tysons Reporter notes that the FCEDA sought to expand the size of the Commission flexibility to bring on leaders whose firms are building companies in growing sectors, expand our reach to include more entrepreneurs and small business leaders, and identify leaders who reflect the growing diversity in our county and its business community. Charged with oversight of the FCEDA, which works to attract, retain, and support businesses, the Commission consists of local business and community leaders appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Notable contract wins by firms in Fairfax County

Leidos won a $470.7 million contract to assist the Transportation Security Authority in equipping all U.S. federalized airports with checkpoint-screening equipment. ExecutiveBiz

Peraton secured a $443.8 million contract to provide information-technology platforms and support services to U.S. Strategic Command. GovConWire

Northrop Grumman won a $146 million contract from the Air Force to equip U.S. and ally-owned military fixed-wing and rotary wing aircraft with a system designed to detect and defeat emerging missile threats automatically by using a high-intensity, laser-based technology. ExecutiveBiz

Iridium received a $30 million research and development contract from the Army to develop a payload to be hosted on small satellites that supports navigation systems, guidance and control for the global positioning system and GPS-denied precision systems. Intelligence Community News

SOS International won a five-year, $7 million contract to provide strategic security cooperation advice and assistance to the Office of Security Cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Intelligence Community News

Dewberry received five-year contract from the Federal Bureau of Prisons that encompasses planning and design work at 16 federal correctional facilities in the mid-Atlantic region. ExecutiveBiz

Featured business events

July 13 — Entrepreneurship 101: Starting A Business in Fairfax County. The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, the Community Business Partnership and the U.S. Small Business Administration, presents a virtual workshop that will provide the fundamentals needed to successfully start a business. In addition, an Entrepreneur Spotlight will feature Emmit McHenry, founder, chairman and CEO of Cycurion, who will discuss his entrepreneurial journey and share valuable tips for business success. Click here to register.

How the Fairfax County EDA can help

The FCEDA is here to connect businesses of all kinds to resources and information. Visit the FCEDA’s Covid-19 Business Resource Hub for up-to-date information. For direct assistance, email the FCEDA at info@fceda.org, or call 703-790-0600 to leave a voice message for our staff. And click here for resources available in the other nine jurisdictions that make up the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance.